Blitzboks snap up school stars

William Small-Smith, Craig Barry and Tshotsho Mbovane have signed contracts to play for the Springbok Sevens side for the next two years.

Small-Smith (Grey College) was part of the Free State side that defeated WP in the unofficial Craven Week final. Barry and Mbovane (both Paul Roos) represented WP in that tournament and were later selected for the SA Schools side. Small-Smith also made the cut.

The trio will represent the High Performance squad next week in three international fixtures against the U18 teams of France, England and Namibia. Their Sevens contracts will start from 1 January 2011, giving them the chance to complete their final school year.

Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu believers the youngsters have made the correct decision to play Sevens.

‘It is crucial that we create opportunities for our many young promising players. South Africa is blessed with so much talent and not every youngster can break into the senior ranks,’ Treu said.

‘These three players represent the start of a new direction for us and I am confident that the High Performance programme will deliver many more players of their calibre in the future.

‘It would be great if we can go to the Olympics in 2016 and these three players are established players of the Springbok Sevens team.’

The Bok Sevens training squad assembles on Monday at their base in Stellenbosch.